December 2018 ---
From the Rector
Tidings from Trinity is published a little bit later than usual, primarily because we wanted to have some coverage from the extraordinary events of the first weekend of December. On Saturday, December 1, Revels took place at our church, with the wonderful early music ensemble Trefoil. Look below for that article.
On Sunday, December 2, the First Sunday of Advent, Trinity also celebrated the Institution of its new Rector—namely, me!

It was a marvelous meshing of Advent I and the Celebration of a New Rector with Baptismal Renewal Vows. So many of the themes of yearning, waiting, and deep devotion to God's future all converged on this day, along with favorite hymns, service music, wonderful choral music, and the gentle and poignant sermon from Bishop Kevin Nichols.

Here are some photos from the event. Others may be found at our Facebook page. (Photos below courtesy of Zee Maddah, with many thanks!)
Advent Meditation
A few weeks ago—was it Thanksgiving, or could it have been Hallowe'en—the secular world plunged us headlong into the "Christmas Season": The time of shopping, of gift-giving, partying, feasting, and otherwise being good consumers. The Christmas Season. That frenzied four weeks or so seems to drag us—willing or not—into its fierce storm, and then dump us—over excited, exhausted, and filled with sugar—on December 25 th.

In contrast, the church offers Advent—a time of waiting. If allows us to build gently, slowly, towards the celebration of the birth of Christ. It gives us time to ponder the future coming of Christ, the coming of Christ into our hearts, and then the coming of the Christ Child. It requires of us a patience and a discipline to resist the lure of the secular holiday season. But it is a discipline of gentleness, of anticipation. How lovely, each week, to sit in the midst of candles and contemplative music, to allow ourselves to yearn for whatever our hearts reveal to us in prayer. How refreshing it is to allow our souls to blossom gently towards an awareness of dawning fulfillment. And how wonderful, then, on Christmas Eve to—at last—celebrate the birth of One born to save the world.

The Church also does not abandon us on December 26! For us, Christmas is a twelve-day season, ending on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. We have twelve days for merriment, frivolity, and festivity!

The church has found—over the centuries—that observing the liturgical calendar is healthy—both spiritually and psychologically. The church year ebbs and flows as the story of Christ does, and allows us to follow its movement so that we re-live, re-enact the story of the Incarnation. As we follow this story, we relive, yes, but also re-learn, the ways God comes to us each hour, each day, and for all of our lives.

I hope this Advent season continues to bless and inspire each of us, as we move together toward the great festival of Christmas.


Two Poems by
Stephanie Stover

Adventus Christi
(The Coming of Christ )

In the desert of my heart,
I hear the voice,
“Prepare the way”;
in the chaos and the clutter,
the confusion of my making,
now I turn, to see Him standing
at the door.

And where do I begin, Lord?
I have placed so many obstacles
before the gate. Is it too late
to move them now, or to make straight
the path that I have twisted
to my stubborn will?

I turn away, but cannot hide
from such a Light, from such a Star,
that shows me who I am, oh Lord,
and who You are.

Be born in me, oh Gift of Grace,
that from the cradle to the Cross
my path might be the path of Love,
my way, the Way of Light, of Hope,
of Peace.


Our bare-branched faith awaits the Light
with quiet expectation,
our wind-chilled hearts still yearning
for the promise we have seen.
Oh, God-sent Child,
we know too much;
we seek the holly, green with life,
but find the berry, bright with blood,
and in our souls the long-sought Truth
bears grief as well as healing.
Yet this remains our only Star,
and darkness cannot dim its hope,
or blind us to the path of Him
who is our consolation.
So emptying ourselves, that Christ
might now be born anew in us,
we let Love’s shadows deepen us,
to birth us once again.
Revels 2018

Christo è Nato
Lauding the Nativity in Medieval Florence

With help from early music ensemble Trefoil, folks from Trinity Episcopal Church and the Moravian College Undergraduate Conference in Medieval and Early Modern Studies listened to beautifully-sung praises to the Nativity from Medieval Florence, to benefit Trinity's Soup Kitchen. Ensemble members Drew Minter, Mark Rimple, and Marcia young sang and played medieval instruments such as the lute, psaltery, and harp.

Afterwards, clergy and staff (past and present) from Trinity led a raucous procession into the Parish Hall, complete with boar's head and flaming figgy pudding. There the festive group feasted on food prepared by Trinity's Hospitality Committee. It was a glowing, lovely evening, as the photos below will attest.
Above, left to right, Drew Minter, with harp; Marcia Young, and Mark Rimple, playing the psaltery.
Deacon Liz Miller captures the frivolity of the evening!
The priests REVEL in high hilarity! (Left to right): Cliff Carr; Laura Howell, and Pamela Payne
Upcoming Events . . .
Friday, December 7
5:30 p.m.
Come join us in the Parish Hall this Friday evening for potluck Dinner and a Movie!

The movie will be the award-winning "Waking Ned Devine," a comedy that promises to make us feel like a million bucks!

Bring a side dish or dessert, and take a break from everything!
December 9
the Second Sunday of Advent
9:00-9:45 a.m.
(between services)

Join us for the re-launching of Adult Forum. Beginning December 9, on the second Sunday of Advent, we will gather for a time of conversation about the themes of Advent, inspired and sparked by short films we will view from The Work of the People (

We will also spend time discerning ideas for future Adult Forums, so give some thought to programs, issues, or whatever fascinates you about the Christian faith. We'd like to see Adult Forum jump-start our Adult Formation program here at Trinity, and in the future be able to offer multiple Sunday education opportunities.
The Mystical Link between
Christmas Poinsettias and Music . . .

Christmas Altar with Poinsettias 2017
At Trinity, Christmas poinsettias do more than just look beautiful. When you contribute to the poinsettias, you create beauty in sight and sound! The poinsettias also contribute to the musical offerings on Christmas Eve. This year our nave will resound with music from harpist Andrea Wittchen, who will join us for the 10:00 Prelude and Festive Eucharist.

If you would like to contribute, please fill out a form and place it either in the offering plate on Sunday mornings, or turn it into the office no later than Monday, December 17th.

Names of contributors will appear in the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day service bulletins. Pastoral Care Ministers will deliver plants to the homebound of our parish after Christmas.
Serve the present. Honor the past.
Provide for the Future

Remember: It isn't too late to pledge this year. If you missed our ingathering Sunday, you may still turn in your pledge card to the financial office whenever you like.
Listening Sessions? Meet'n'Greet? Getting to Know You?

Whatever we call them, we are STILL having them!

Small groups have met several times a month with Pam, to listen to each other's dreams for Trinity Church, and to get to know one another in relaxed, comfortable settings. Each has been co-hosted by a Vestry member.

We will STILL have Listening Sessions in 2019. So if you've signed up, but not yet been invited, take heart! You soon will be! If you have not done so yet, sign the sheet on the bulletin board outside the Rector's office. Or contact a Vestry member. We want to include anyone who would like to be part of these groups, and they will happen as long as people are interested.
Childcare Workers STILL Needed
Really want to see a lot of children at Trinity? Read on . . .

We are still seeking another paid lead childcare worker/teacher, experienced in early childhood education.


We really need other volunteers to assist the lead teacher, on a regular rolling basis.

Several Vestry members have stepped up to offer their services, as they should. But Vestry members cannot do everything. We need other folks in the church to offer one hour of their time, on a rolling basis, to strengthen our ministry to children.

Many folks frequently state how much they want to see Trinity have a vibrant children's ministry once again. This is the way to begin. But we cannot do it without volunteers who will offer their time for this occasional ministry.

The more folks volunteer, the less frequently any one person has to assist in this ministry. If enough agree to help, volunteering could be just once every two months or so.

Please prayerfully consider helping us in this vital ministry,
so very important to the continued growth of the church.
Your Christmas shopping can
benefit Trinity!
When you buy GIFT CARDS though Great Lakes Scrip, a percentage of the face value of the card is donated to Trinity. Cards are available for many retailers in the area and online. The cards must be purchased with cash or check. A variety of cards that are frequently requested are available for immediate purchase (Giant, Weis, Shoprite, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Home Depot, Lowes) and other cards can be ordered. The extensive list is available at the Great Lakes Scrip website link given below. When you decide which card you would like to purchase, please contact Pat Sisson by email at

Upcoming Events!
Saturday, December 1
Revels, with early music ensemble, Trefoil
Sunday, December 2, 10:00 a.m.
One Service, all invited
First Sunday of Advent
Celebration of New Ministry. Bishop Kevin Kevin Nichols, presiding
Friday, December 7,
Stewardship Ingathering Sunday
Thursday, November 22, 5:30 p.m.
Parish Hall
Dinner and a Movie
"Waking Ned Devine"
December 24, Christmas Eve
4:00 Family-friendly service
10:00 With choir, harp, and sung service
Festal Holy Eucharist
(Children are welcome at either service!)
Sunday, January 13th, immediately after the 10:00 a.m. service
Annual Meeting!
Serving This Month

Lectors, acolytes, intercessors, Altar Guild, ushers, greeters, eucharistic ministers:

Ellyn Siftar, December 1
Charles Everett, December 2
Cindy Grieshaber, December 4
Pat Talijan, December 5
Peter Weaver, December 5
Dean Frey, December 6
Jane Gaeta, December 7
John Jastrzemski, December 10
Horace Cartwright, December 12
Shelly Smith, December 12
Miles Salerni, December 14
Jody Miller, December 16
David Gulya, December 21
Susan Rogers, December 22
Ross Mangina, December 23
LeeAnne Smith, December 26
Mary Ann Swiatek, December 26
Cathy Walter, December 29
Marjorie Buckley, December 30
Vanessa Miller, December 31

Lindsay Weiss and Justin Porembo, December 17
44 E. Market Street
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18018
Saturday Service: 5:00 pm 
Sunday Services: 8:00 & 10:00am 
Office: 9:00am-2:00pm, M-F 
Soup Kitchen: 12:00-1:00pm, M-F